A convenient change for Chippenham

This Is Wiltshire: Mike Wilson, customer Claire Payne, Duncan Hames and Louise Anderson            (40542) Mike Wilson, customer Claire Payne, Duncan Hames and Louise Anderson (40542)

Chippenham's MP has welcomed the town’s Post Office move as an alternative to its closure.

Duncan Hames gave his local Post Office on Market Place its official opening this week.

After cutting the ribbon at its new home in the One Stop shop, he spent some time doing his Co-op banking.

The movemeans people can now cash pensions and benefits 15 hours a day, as one counter offers Post Office services between 7am and 10pm. Other services, such as passport check and send, will be restricted to the four counters at the back of the store with normal office opening hours of 9am-5.30pm.

“They (the extended hours) will be especially welcomed by those who need to use the Post Office outside of the normal working day,” Mr Hames said.

The Post Office moved from 41-43 to 28-29 Market Place when the building it rented for more than 50 years was sold. It now has a permanent contract at the One Stop shop.

Mr Hames said: “I hope an investment in the Post Office network such as this will help put the Post Office on a firmer footing and help leave the era of Post Office closures.”

The South West has lost 580 Post Offices in the past 12 years. About 6,000 have closed in the UK overall.

One Stop shift manager Paul Page said he felt proud to be part of the Chippenham relocation. “I feel like we’ve helped to save the Post Office and keep people’s jobs,” he said. “If it wasn’t here I don’t think there would have been one this side of town.”

Since the move last month – the busiest time of year – all members of staff from the former office are doing the same jobs, 110 metres down the road.

They now work for One Stop and have swapped their distinctive red and white blouses for the blue and black convenience shop T-shirts.

Some customers said they were disappointed by the move. Lara Tyas, 37, off Sheldon Road, said: “I’m disappointed with this trend of shoving them at the back of convenience stores. I like having a nice large designated Post Office.”

Natasha Tidmarsh, 37, of Pewsham, said: “When I heard it was moving I was a bit worried about where people would queue because it did get quite busy.” But she added: “It seems fine at the moment.”

The store has received a mixed reaction from customers, according to Mike Wilson, Post Office area sales manager. He expected queues would reduce as people grew accustomed to the extended opening hours. “In a similar situation near Bristol, after just a couple of months there were no queues at all,” he said.

The building at 41-43 Market Place, which had housed the Post Office since it was built in 1959, is now empty.

Comments (5)

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7:07pm Thu 10 Jan 13

Yer Tis says...

"as one counter offers Post Office services between 7am and 10pm"

Excuse me, but on TWO occasions this week I have been in looking for a BASIC counter service, i.e. posting a small package, only to be told by the shop staff that they cannot do it, so must return during normal hours. Both occasions were between 8 and 9 pm

So excuse my language, but why are we letting the Post office and One Stop tell us a load of whotsits!
"as one counter offers Post Office services between 7am and 10pm" Excuse me, but on TWO occasions this week I have been in looking for a BASIC counter service, i.e. posting a small package, only to be told by the shop staff that they cannot do it, so must return during normal hours. Both occasions were between 8 and 9 pm So excuse my language, but why are we letting the Post office and One Stop tell us a load of whotsits! Yer Tis
  • Score: 0

1:05pm Fri 11 Jan 13

we-all-have-opinions says...

Yer Tis wrote:
"as one counter offers Post Office services between 7am and 10pm"

Excuse me, but on TWO occasions this week I have been in looking for a BASIC counter service, i.e. posting a small package, only to be told by the shop staff that they cannot do it, so must return during normal hours. Both occasions were between 8 and 9 pm

So excuse my language, but why are we letting the Post office and One Stop tell us a load of whotsits!
Did you care to ask for the reason or did you blantantly just moan about it rather than asking why did they not offer the service?
I took the time out to speak to the lady behind the counter at the front of the shop and she stated that they need training and also learn the new processes requireeed to make it work. Stop your moaning and learn a bit of patience whilst these teething troubles are ironed out so we can all get a better service. It's not as if any other Post Office within a few miles offering such out of hours service.
[quote][p][bold]Yer Tis[/bold] wrote: "as one counter offers Post Office services between 7am and 10pm" Excuse me, but on TWO occasions this week I have been in looking for a BASIC counter service, i.e. posting a small package, only to be told by the shop staff that they cannot do it, so must return during normal hours. Both occasions were between 8 and 9 pm So excuse my language, but why are we letting the Post office and One Stop tell us a load of whotsits![/p][/quote]Did you care to ask for the reason or did you blantantly just moan about it rather than asking why did they not offer the service? I took the time out to speak to the lady behind the counter at the front of the shop and she stated that they need training and also learn the new processes requireeed to make it work. Stop your moaning and learn a bit of patience whilst these teething troubles are ironed out so we can all get a better service. It's not as if any other Post Office within a few miles offering such out of hours service. we-all-have-opinions
  • Score: 0

1:30pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Yer Tis says...

Yes I did ask, and no I don't moan for the sake of moaning.

I was told that they were not trained and further other than issuing stamps that they were not going to be trained, because of high staff turn over.

So how can this improve if the the staff are not going to be trained.

Incidently this is also the case in another shop/PO merger elsewhere in the county, where the PO is now only open the old hours, disptite what was promised
Yes I did ask, and no I don't moan for the sake of moaning. I was told that they [the shop staff] were not trained and further other than issuing stamps that they [the shop staff] were not going to be trained, because of high staff turn over. So how can this improve if the the staff are not going to be trained. Incidently this is also the case in another shop/PO merger elsewhere in the county, where the PO is now only open the old hours, disptite what was promised Yer Tis
  • Score: 0

9:39pm Fri 11 Jan 13

spouseless says...

It doesnt help when there are several different opening times advertised in different places! One web site says 7 til 10, another says 7 til 8.00, which is it???
In my opinion there isnt enough space for the customers and the staff. Yes the other one was probably too big this one has gone to the other extreme!!
It doesnt help when there are several different opening times advertised in different places! One web site says 7 til 10, another says 7 til 8.00, which is it??? In my opinion there isnt enough space for the customers and the staff. Yes the other one was probably too big this one has gone to the other extreme!! spouseless
  • Score: 0

11:20am Sat 12 Jan 13

notscot says...

They channe the waiting P.O. customers down a narrow isle - not at the side of the shop - but toward the centre.
Perhaps in the belief that the customers will collect "extras" on the way to the till?
But when the queue is the full length of the aisle - it seems this only deters the other customers from looking at the first 2 aisles!
Bit more thought required - early days yet.
They channe the waiting P.O. customers down a narrow isle - not at the side of the shop - but toward the centre. Perhaps in the belief that the customers will collect "extras" on the way to the till? But when the queue is the full length of the aisle - it seems this only deters the other customers from looking at the first 2 aisles! Bit more thought required - early days yet. notscot
  • Score: 0

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